Campaign to counter ‘poverty porn’ portrayal of Stockton

Plans to put a more positive spin on a North-East town ahead of the airing of the next series of Channel 4’s Benefits Street are underway.

TV company Love Productions chose Kingston Street in Stockton to film its second series of the popular Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall show, dubbed by some as “poverty porn“.

The next series is expected to air in March and Stockton Borough Council says it is expecting a less-than-flattering portrayal of the town.

Now businesses are throwing their weight behind a campaign to shine a positive light on Stockton.

The Positively Stockton-on-Tees campaign has a website – http://www.positivelystocktonontees.co.uk – and social media accounts have been set up for people to share photographs, videos and stories about the area.

Now, thanks to donations from local businesses, the best submissions will be rewarded in a monthly prize giveaway, the first of which is afternoon tea for four at Wynyard Hall.

Council leader Bob Cook said:

“We came up with this campaign to create a space where people can share their views on what they love about Stockton-on-Tees and we’ve been delighted with the response so far.

 “We’ve said from the off that we want the public to take up the mantle of getting this campaign off the ground and we’ve received some wonderful stories and photographs from people across the Borough.”

Mike McGrother, Wildcats of Kilkenny frontman, said:

“What has been lovely about the response so far is the overwhelming reaction from across the borough – and beyond.

“We may not have the revenues and reach of Love Productions – but what we will do in response is a much ‘lovelier’ production all round.”

To find out more about the Positively Stockton-on-Tees campaign, and how to get involved, visit:

http://www.positivelystocktonontees.co.uk http://www.facebook.com/positivelystocktonontees

or follow the campaign on Twitter @positivelySOT

Source –  Northern Echo,  19 Jan 2015

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